Loneliness, college belongingness, subjective vitality, and psychological adjustment during coronavirus pandemic: Development of the College Belongingness Questionnaire

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Gökmen Arslan


Loneliness is a serious risk factor for healthy development and flourishing. Although loneliness has been revealed to play an important role in psychological health and well-being, little is known about moderating and mitigating mechanisms underlying this association, especially during adverse experiences (e.g., COVID-19 pandemic). The current study purposed to explore whether subjective vitality mediated the association of loneliness with psychological adjustment and whether college belongingness moderated the mediating effect of subjective vitality on students’ adjustment in the context of loneliness. The study sample comprised 333 undergraduate students (69% female) from a public university in Turkey. They ranged in age between 19 and 41 years (M= 21.94, SD= 4.15). Findings from mediation analysis revealed that loneliness had a significant predictive effect on subjective vitality and psychological adjustment challenges. Subjective vitality also mediated the effect of loneliness on the psychological adjustment of college students. Further, college belongingness moderated the mediating effect of subjective vitality on adjustment and had a protective effect on the association between loneliness and subjective vitality in college students. These results indicate that subjective vitality and college belongingness are important mechanisms that may help develop prevention and intervention strategies to foster students’ psychological health and well-being in university settings.

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